I’m back at work at Zine 5 now. It is slow progress, slowly whittling away at the pages, putting things together and then fiddling around with them. One thing I made in order to help me get my thoughts together was a chart of how often and where we actually saw my Dad and his family over the years. Our contact with him was actually very limited, more like contact with an uncle. They would blow in, bringing excitement, huge anticipation, uncertainty, confusion and muddle and then blow out again, with a sense of anti climax, with very limited contact in between.
It’s good to piece this stuff together but it is quite hard at times. Not least is wondering why I remained so loyal to him?
It is hard being estranged from a parent. Well meaning people often think it would be “a good thing” if one is reconciled. As though the estrangement is impulsive / unfair / foolish. It takes a lot to become estranged from a parent and over the years I have reviewed my decision, played out reconciliations in my head, seriously tried to engage with the idea of allowing contact......
Each time I have been forced to face the reality, as opposed to vain hopes. If I did allow more contact, the old dynamics would merely replay; contact roughly once a year, being used as a convenient hotel out of the blue and absolutely no addressing or even acknowledgement of the failure of parenting that occured.
And the final part of the estrangement is it pushes me into the role of “the bad guy” with a section of the family.
It is a weird and uncomfortable position, it is just something I have to live with.
An update on the boxing.
I have noticed that after a while, when I am punching at the trainer holding the pads, when I’m getting tired, I stop holding back and just start really going for it. It is really satisfying to punch as hard and (dare I say it) as aggressively as I am able. Growing up as a female, being physically aggressive is not something I have ever really done.
At the end of the week I experienced a full blown migrainous aura with flashing lights. It lasted half an hour then progressed to some nausea and thick headedness but no actual headache.
I also experienced some of the lowest moods I’ve had for a long time, total despair, which lasted some hours before cycling into a big upswing of feeling really good.
What to make of all that? My theory is that I’m burning off some of my longstanding, defensive anger. Punching with the trainer feels very safe, like a little child punching a parent, you know you won’t hurt them. Maybe the release of the anger uncovers the sadness below which then can dissipate too. My migraines have always been triggered by a release of stress, so that fits too.